Readers are Leaders campaign inspires students to grab a book

POSTED: 09/26/12 12:20 PM

St. Maarten – “Raising our readers to be leaders. Our youngsters need to become strong readers to succeed in life. These are the slogans under which The Philipsburg Jubilee Library in close collaboration with the Rotary Sunrise Club is relaunching a reading program aimed at all high school students on our island. Our goal is to turn St Maarten’s teenagers into avid readers. The benefits of reading are among others that readers develop imagination, curiosity and the ability to think outside the box,” the library and the Rotary stated in a press release issued last night.

‘ Readers are Leaders’ was re-launched with a swinging pizza party last week Thursday at the library with students of St. Maarten Vocational Training, Sundial, St. Maarten Academy,  St. Maarten Academy PSVE, and  St. Dominic High. The campaign will continue until March 21, 2013.

High school students will be challenged to read at least one book per month. As extra incentives to encourage participants to continue reading prizes will be awarded to the first three participants that finish reading seven books. Prizes include a number of electronic devices such as a laptop, iPods, USB sticks, and free internet hours at the library. The campaign will culminate in a closing party celebrating the achievements of all participating students.

Students can join the program at their secondary schools who have made the Readers are Leaders program part of their school curriculum.  These schools are St. Maarten Vocational Training, Sundial, St. Maarten Academy, and St. Maarten Academy PSVE. Other students can join the program by signing up at the Philipsburg Jubilee library.

Participants of secondary schools have to read at least seven books before the program ends next year. They have to participate in discussions on the Readers are leaders Facebook page and take part in one of a series of extracurricular activities. These are being a member of the Readers are Leaders board, participating in the reading club or book club at school, helping children with reading in an afterschool program, tutoring fellow classmates or others in the English language and participating in the poetry evening or the Black History Month program.

Participants who register for the program at the library have a different set of requirements to meet. They have to fill out a questionnaire about each book they read by the last Friday of each month. They are able to earn extra points by participating in discussions on the Readers are Leaders Facebook page. They’ll also have to produce an original, artistic piece (dance, rap, poetry, song or painting) based on a book of their choice. The first participant to finish five books will win a prize. The participants who earned the most points at the end of the campaign and have the most creative portfolio will receive a special prize.

Readers are Leaders will also be visible on the World Wide Web. A special Facebook account has been set up for the campaign and participating teens will be encouraged to write book reviews and discuss the books they read on Facebook.

The topics the participants will be reading about include world leaders and spiritual leaders from St. Maarten, the Caribbean and the rest of the world and moral values and ethics. Apart from these topics participants will select fun books of their own choice.

Participants will also be invited to join the Readers Are Leaders Board.

For more information visit the library website or contact the library by phone at 542 29 70 or e-mail

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